By: Courtney Summers
Published: September 4th 2018
By: Wednesday Books
Buy it: Book Depository
Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.
But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him.
When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.
“Every little thing about you can be a weapon, if you’re clever enough.”
This is a very unique book , maybe one of the most unique that I’ve read in my life, I really liked it, from the way it is told, to the story itself, is really intriguing and heartbreaking from the first moment, besides, the characters are so real which was great. It’s not an easy trip, but it was really worth it
The book is told as a podcast, which means as a radio broadcast which people can hear online. The book follows the story of two girls, Sadie and Mattie, Sadie has had a very hard life, as since she’s very young she must take care of her younger sister Mattie, doing everything possible to provide her with a normal life. But one day Mattie is found dead and Sadie is determined to making her sister’s killer pay for what he has done and that’s why she start a long journey to find him. When West McCray, a radio personality, listens to Sadie’s story he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl, is how he begins his own podcast while tracking the journey of Sadie in the hope of finding her before it is too late.
I really think that this is an incredible book, I been thinking about it since I read it and it’s a story that you certainly can’t easily forget. The first thought that comes to my mind when I have to talking about this book is to tell you how SMART it is, from the way it is told, to the story and even the creation of the characters. I really like the mystery stories, so from the beginning I was very intrigued by the story of these two girls, it’s a hard journey, as I said, but also addictive and intriguing. There was a moment a little beyond the beginning where it was a little difficult to read it, not because I wasn’t enjoying it, but because despite being a short book the plot is quite heavy and touches very difficult issues so for moments I just need a break from it, although I think the last 50% of the book was the best thing, it was brilliant and it’s when things start to make more sense, I flew through it, I just had to know what would happen.
The fact that the book was told as a podcast was SO INCREDIBLE, in fact, it was one of my favorite things about the book, it makes it very fluid to read and it keeps you interested. It’s the first time I read this type of format and I loved it, I think that although I didn’t hear the audiobook, it would be a wonderful way to read this book because it is made for it. Besides, I’ve heard the best things about the audiobook, so if you have the possibility, try it!
The story begins in a very small town and then expands from there to larger cities, but there’s something about this kind of stories, that contain crimes and disappearances, that makes it much more interesting when they occur in small communities, since everyone knows each other, and that kept me wanting to find out for myself what had really happened
I have to warn you that this book involves many sensitive issues such as sexual abuse, pedophilia and violence, among others. It wasn’t easy to go through the book in some times as it touches such sensitive issues, it’s really shocking when you get to discover how things happened and how the characters begin to connect with each other in the most sinister and unexpected ways, that’s also a very smart thing on the part of the author. There are very dark characters and I think the book focuses on that kind of characters, which seem to be perfect from a distance but then you find out that they have a very perverse side that they hide from the community and even from their own families.
“People don’t change. They just get better at hiding who they really are.”
The characters in general are great, I like how they all look so real, you may like them or not, but there’s nothing really fake with them. Sadie is such an interesting character to follow, I feel a great conection with her, and every time you find out more details about her past, as you go through the story, you get to understand her actions more. The love that she feel towards her sister is one of the purest things, and you can question thousands of things, about their relationship or how Sadie decided to educate her sister but without doubt, she feels an immense love for Mattie and I could feel it. Sadie has gone through things that no girl should and these unusual situations in which she was involved while growing up make her a very particular character, introverted and unexpected. West McCray is a great character, I think we discover things together with him and that’s great, besides he starts with a totally different position which he ends up with, I think that the research that he has started has made him go through different phases and seeing his interaction with the other characters was very interesting for me.There are many other characters but I feel that it is better if you discover them yourself as you get into the plot, I really loved the surrogate grandmother of the girls, you can tell she’s a great woman.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the ending, I think that can be a point of discussion for many of you, I think there will be those who love it and those who hate it and both sides will have good reasons, believe me. Personally I expected more, but at the same time I understand why it has been left that way. A part of me was somewhat disappointed, but after thinking it better, I feel that it leaves you with a rather intense and mixed feelings everywhere, and that’s what I think the author wanted to create, something shocking and unexpected.
I think another brilliant thing about this book is that nothing is left to chance, everything has its meaning and its connection, even if you don’t understand it in the beginning, everything falls into place and when you see things more clearly it’s really impresive and well thought out.
This is a book that’s very difficult to talk about, it’s a review that cost me a lot to write. I feel that I have so many feelings for this book which are very difficult to explain, and I feel that you’ll get it once you read it. I have to warn you that it’s a rollercoaster of emotions, you’ll feel from rage and pain to sadness and confusion, it’s an incredible work of the author, so obviously I recommend it a lot if you want to read a good book of mystery and crime, with an unexpected ending and very real characters. Remember that it contains quite strong scenes so if you’re sensitive maybe you want to abstain from it. Personally I can’t wait to read more books by author.